Barclay family reportedly selling Telegraph and Spectator titles after row with lenders

The Barclay family - which owns the Telegraph newspapers - says speculation about the business is "unfounded and irresponsible". Credit: PA

The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator magazine are set to be put up for sale after talks between their owners and lenders collapsed.

It came after the Barclay family, the billionaire owners of the Telegraph, denied that the business could fall into administration.

It is understood that Lloyds Banking Group has appointed corporate finance advisory firm AlixPartners as official receivers for Press Acquisitions, the company controlled by the Barclays which owns the publications.

The lender is seeking a sale of the Telegraph and other titles in a bid to recover debts reportedly owed by the network of holding companies.

The family of Sir Frederick Barclay, who owns the Channel Island of Brecqhou, previously quashed the rumours that talks with lenders over long-standing debts have broken down.

Industry analysts have predicted the titles could be worth between £500-£600 million.

Last year, officials reportedly looked into the prospect of selling off the Barclays' private island to help cash flow issues resulting from Sir Frederick's £100 million divorce from Lady Hiroko Barclay.

Sir Frederick bought the island, alongside his late brother Sir David, in 1993 for £3.5 million.

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However, Sir Frederick's lawyers at the time claimed that it was near-impossible to sell, mainly because the wider family were unwilling.

The family said that “speculation about the business entering administration is unfounded and irresponsible” and insisted that the loans do not in any way affect the Telegraph Media Group.

Lloyds Banking Group is said to be threatening to call in administrators for Press Acquisitions, which is the company controlled by the Barclay family that owns Telegraph Media Group – the parent firm of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph – as it looks to recover loans reportedly racked up by the business.

Sir David and Sir Frederick receiving their knighthoods at Buckingham Palace Credit: Michael Stephens/PA

A spokesman for the Barclay family said: “The loans in question are related to the family’s overarching ownership structure of its media assets.

“They do not, in any way, affect the operations or financial stability of Telegraph Media Group.”

The statement added that Telegraph Media Group continues to perform “extremely well” and that the businesses within its portfolio “have no liability for any holding company liabilities, continue to operate as normal and are unaffected by issues in the holding company structure above them”.

It is believed that Lloyds has already lined up restructuring group AlixPartners as the receivers of Press Acquisitions. Credit: PA Images

Lloyds was not immediately available for comment.

Sir Frederick and his late twin brother Sir David Barclay, who died in 2021, bought the Telegraph newspapers in 2004 for £665 million.

Press Acquisitions is now run by Sir David’s son Aidan, with other interests owned by the family including courier Yodel and online retailer Very.

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